Thursday, December 31, 2015

Trust in the timing of your life


Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

My last post has been bothering me for months. Ominous in its tone, it makes me sound depressed and like I was one bad day away from taking a long walk off a short pier.

But it only takes one little thing for it all to change direction. One phone call from a friend who says "I hope you don't mind but I recommended you for a job." Turns out there were two positions available. I had an interview, then another interview but didn't get either job. "I would like to hire you," he said, "so I will keep you in mind for when something else comes up," 

Sure you will.

But two weeks later, he phoned me again. So we had another interview. Then I had a fourth interview. And I got the job. One so much better than the first two. I've been there three months and I can honestly say it's the best job I've ever had. I love it. I have a great boss, I love the people I work with, I have the freedom (and most importantly) the trust to use my initiative. Excitedly, I'm starting to think about the longer term and I'm considering options that were previously on the Cold Day in Hell list. It's not at all what I thought I would be doing - not what I wanted  to do - but that's the beauty of life, isn't it? The happy little surprises. 

Life is good. Storms don't last forever. Happy 2016.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

One can only hope

Pinterest, original source unknown


This is not the life I thought I would be living.

This is horseshit.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The friends you need

One friend to keep you away from him because he is bad news.

One friend to keep your secrets of self-destruction.

One friend to encourage bad decisions in the best way.

One friend to act as a scout.

One friend to share commiserations.

One friend to give no bullshit advice, solicited or otherwise.

All the friends who don't know when to say when when it comes to being the best friends you can have.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Feelings

I wish I hadn't deleted your number

so I could have the satisfaction of deleting it again.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Exceptional Circumstances

You want extraordinary things to happen? Okay sugar, we'll give you something so extraordinary that you can't talk about it. You'll see it on the evening news, in magazines, all over the internet, but no-one must know the connection. It will be so extraordinary that it will alternate between driving you to drink and smoke and curse, and adopting a zen-like que sera, sera feeling. It is huge, life-defining, television mini-series extraordinary. And yet you must not talk about it. Do not talk about it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Regret

I knew you were heading for trouble
the minute you started caring about his backstory.
I thought
That's it, baby.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Initial Thoughts of a Social Media Detox

Two initial thoughts after a weekend social media detox:

1. I wonder what everyone is up to?

2. Christ, I'm bored.

I totally cracked. I don't even think I lasted 24 hours. I received an email that alerted me to a Facebook notification and when I logged in, I had three notifications and a new friend request. I checked Instagram and saw I had some mentions. I realised that I hadn't told anyone who doesn't read this blog about my detox and it felt like not checking in was kind of rude. 

And then I looked at Pinterest and it was all over.

I like the people I follow on Twitter, they're funny and clever. I use Twitter as my main source of news and what's happening around the world. I like Instagram and getting a glimpse into the lives of the people I follow all around the world. And Pinterest, as pointless as it is, is fun. Cutting them out of my life, even for a few hours, felt like punishment.

So rather than a detox, I think I'll just go on a social media diet instead.

I don't have a problem. You have a problem.

Friday, May 8, 2015

OVERSTIMULATED

I feel lost. There are too many voices, too many bright lights catching my eye. Too many people to whom I can compare myself. I don't measure up. I am not doing my best. I can do better.

I am not doing. Not doing. I have been searching for the answers without knowing the questions but they are both here within me. I have been too distracted to realise. 

I have everything I need. It's all right here.

It's alright here.

An experiment: one week, no tools of comparison. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs*, Facebook (which serves more as a tool to rile me right the fuck up anyhow). 

Overstimulated, it's time to still the external noise and let the internal be heard.

*Perhaps not my own, undecided

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

business time

I have spent hours upon hours researching this little business idea of mine because I have bugger all idea of how one goes about setting up a business. Or small, on the side, freelance thing, I should say. Not a fuck it all let's chuck in the day job type thing - not yet, anyway. Working for myself, being my own boss, that is the long-term goal. I resent being told what to do too much to not at least try to go it alone.

But where to start? How to start? HOW? I have been brainstorming and thinking thinking thinking and then chickening out: Oh well, another flash in the pan idea; coulda woulda shoulda. Then I give myself a mental slap because that is my MO. I think of a good idea, roll it around for a week or so and rather than have the conviction to follow it through, I let fear of failure and of just giving it a go get the better of me. This time however, I am determined to try. I did say I would make 2015 my year/bitch, after all. Other things have come together, this may well too.

And the old "if you're looking for a sign, this is it" came into play tonight when I walked into the library and saw on the new release shelf From Passion to Profit: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Money from Your Hobby by Selling Online by Clare Hughes. If it does what it says on the cover, I should be up and running in six weeks. 

Eek.

Yay.

(Really, eek.)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

the mystery of the roses

In order to lead a fascinating life, one brimming with art, music, intrigue and romance, you must surround yourself with precisely those things.

Kate Spade


One of my biggest fears is living an ordinary life. No major excitements, no mystery, no big complicated romances. An average life is a complete and total anathema; it terrifies me. Yet, ask me to explain what I mean by an extraordinary life and I probably couldn't say anything else than I want something more. Kate Spade's quote above says it better than I can. 

Intrigue and romance collided on Thursday night when I came home to find two red roses tied with a bow left on my doorstep. Initially I freaked out, thinking STALKER ALERT and that I would inspire a future episode of Law & Order: SVU when some psychopath made a lampshade out of my skin. After all, there is literally no-one I can think of who would be likely to give me flowers. There is no-one. No-one. (How sad.)

But then I remembered this quote and receiving anonymous roses became quite exciting. Who are they from? Will I come home one night and trip over another bunch of flowers? Why were the two roses and not just the standard single red rose?

And perhaps the most intriguing question of all, was it a case of mistaken identity and they weren't even meant for me at all?




Thursday, April 23, 2015

Some more this and that

I went out tonight for ten minutes. At the most. When I opened the gate to my flat, the security light came on and I saw two red roses wrapped in cellophane and tied with a red bow on the doorstep. A romantic gesture, should one have a gentleman (or gentlewoman) friend. One does not, however, and one finds the gesture rather creepy. One left the stalker roses outside.

Won't this be fun to read if the rose-giver and I end up getting married.

Yesterday I read an article about a man in Colorado who got pissed off, got a gun, took his victim into an alley, and in an act of calculated, coldblooded premeditation, fatally shot his computer. Amazing. He SHOT his desktop computer. "It was glorious," he said. I don't doubt it was glorious - the victim was a Dell computer, the same brand as my laptop that in its short lifetime, went through three chargers before spontaneously setting itself on fire and dying. I don't have a gun and even though my computer was already dead, I'm sure I would get the same pleasure from popping a few caps in its ass.

I think I have found a use for the domain name I bought a few weeks ago. A business idea came to me a while ago, something that I could start so small that it would classify as a hobby that paid poorly but could have unlimited potential. Having said that though, I don't know yet if there would be enough interest in the service I could provide to even get started. Such cryptic, much annoying. It's worth spending the weekend researching.

Ever Googled "How much does ____ cost?"? This map details the most common of those questions, organised by country. Items of concern around the world vary from Panama hats, kidneys, cows, nose jobs, to beer, slaves (come on, Mauritania, get your shit together) and carpets. Apparently Australians are most concerned about the cost of IVF and that makes me sad. via a retweet by Belgian Waffling

I'm the weekend with dinner and a gossip with a girlfriend at a local Greek restaurant. After my sugar-free bandwagon crashed and burned this week, this will be a last hurrah before I start behaving myself. I don't like how I feel when I eat sugary, processed foods. I feel so much lighter, physically and mentally, without sugar in my diet.

Speaking of how food can ruin the party for some, I was talking to a woman who has recently turned to a vegan diet and she mentioned feeling a similar way to me. She took it up a notch though, when she told me about a friend of hers who has psychic abilities (stay with me) and finds that when she eats too much meat, her abilities are dimmed. I guess how can one be in touch with spirits and souls when one are eating another being that has a spirit and a soul itself? It would get so murky all up in the psychic bits. I find it fascinating and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

Hooray for Friday, I was ready for you yesterday.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fun, food and frivolity

I had drinks with my friend Z on Friday night. We drank espresso martinis (why the HELL have I never had one of those before?) and talked and laughed our faces off. We switched to wine and our laughter got louder, and I tottered off to bed just after 1:30am. When I woke six hours later, I felt remarkably fine. Suspiciously fine. Just to make sure I wasn't assaulted by a delayed onset hangover, I stayed in bed for another two hours, emerging with nothing more than a headache.

I had a lunch date with my cousin E on Saturday and seeing as I'd already downed more alcohol in one night than I've had since the start of the year, I thought bugger it and ordered a no-no meal: a big, fat ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Oh, sweet carbs, sugar and dairy. I devoured it, strings of cheese hanging from my mouth.

E and I spent a few hours catching up on the past six months or so of each other's life. Her tales of holidays, past and upcoming, to Bali, Switzerland and Spain, were more exciting than my 'On Monday, I went to work at eight-thirty, came home at five-thirty, and repeated that day for five months' tales but such is life. 

E took off to visit her father and I pissed about for too long before realising I was running late for my next date: a show in Melbourne with H. A quick five-minute makeup job, a frantic search for misplaced keys, and I was fanging up the highway, telling Siri to shut up at regular intervals (that Siri bitch - last time I used her for directions, she told me to abandon the car on a main road and walk the remainder of the trip and then later on my unsolicited behalf, Facetimed a woman I'd unsuccessfully interviewed with months earlier).

H and I went to see Tommy Little whose hour-long stand-up show, Enter the Weapon, is a part of the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and absolutely fucking hilarious. I wish I hadn't have gone on the Festival's penultimate day - if I'd gone sooner, I could have bullied everyone I knew into going along, as well as going many, many more times myself. He has a kind of naughty schoolboy charm and he is kind of easy on the eye too. H and I had a discussion I have had many times before, about how a man can go from goodlooking to achingly hot if he can make one laugh until their sides hurt.

We followed up the show with Mexican and margaritas at Fonda in Flinders Lane (highly recommend. We both had the chicken burrito and though we agreed we could have shared one, we shoved it all down nonetheless because it was so delicious), where we stayed for two hours, talking about nothing and everything.

It rained all night and was still raining when I woke this morning. I pottered around for a while, undecided what to do with my day, until I read on Twitter that Jonathan Crombie who played Gilbert Blythe to perfection had passed away from a brain haemorrhage, aged 48. I went out to get a coffee and came home to sit in front of the heater and watch Anne of Green Gables for the billionth time in tribute. 

Now I'm showered and with freshly painted nails, curled up on the couch, watching Poldark. Frankly, I have no idea what the show is about because I'm mainly just marveling at the beauty of Aidan Turner's lovely dark Irish good looks, but there's something of love triangle, something to do with Cornwall mines, and a wipe yer nose on the back of yer hand, fiery redheaded kitchenmaid. It's enough to keep me amused for an hour and the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pretty Average Good Friday

The table was set, fish and salad had been prepared, stomachs were rumbling: all was ready for the Good Friday feast and then plans were set into disarray when my aunty phoned to say that my 88-year-old grandfather had stacked it and face-plated the concrete ground. "Blood everywhere ... ambulance ... neck brace and stitches ... hospital" were the keywords when my mother related the message.

The remainder of the day was spent listlessly loping around the house, waiting for updates from the hospital. We didn't dare eat lunch, just in case as soon as we finished, we would get the phone call to say they were on their way home. We managed to hold out until 5pm.

Pa's injuries include a nose broken in several spots, a huge gash on his forehead in the shape of his glasses frame, and two spectacular black eyes. Thankfully, his neck was given the all clear, as was his brain, but they kept him in overnight so they could keep watch on his dicky ticker. To everyone's relief, he is being sent home this afternoon.

Yesterday's incident, combined with the news that the mother of one of my parents' good friends passed away, made for a pretty bloody average Good Friday indeed. 

I miss the days when I would sleep in late, get out of the shower just in time for everyone to arrive for lunch, and then proceed to get inappropriately tipsy on champagne and eat altogether too much chocolate. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy Easter! Happy Long Weekend!

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it, happy four-day long weekend to those who don't!

My oh my, am I looking forward to four days off. I am feeling a little bit exasperated with people in general so think some time away will do me the world of good.

I'm going to my parents house tonight after work, a magical mystical place where it's always warm, food is plentiful and internet speed isn't snail-pace. I have made my chocolate spiders and for quality assurance purposes, tasted a few, and I can confirm once again that yes, sugar still gives me a headache, however delicious they may be.

I'm going to visit my cousin in Peterborough - he has recently bought miniature cows! Their coats are curly! - and hopefully, venture out into the countryside somewhere further. Not sure where just yet but I've got a hankering to see some autumn leaves. We will see.

I have two books for the weekend: Kathleen Tessaro's The Perfume Collector and one of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I can't remember which one. The third one, maybe? I have Amy Poehler's memoir on my iPad (which is flat. My book is flat. Technology) so I think I'm set for weekend reading.

Three and a half hours until knock-off time! Come on, come on, come on.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In which I become a sugar-free bore

For an assortment of different and varying reasons that I shan't bore you with right now (isn't shan't the most deliciously snooty word? Rarely heard these days; I resolve to use it more often, do my bit to save it from dying out of the modern vocabulary), I have been off sugar since January.

At the risk of sounding like one of those health-obsessed, bandwagon-jumping bores, I have never felt better. Ever. I didn't even realise how good I felt until I had some of my father's birthday cake earlier this month and the following day, suffered through the worst headache I have had in recent memory. It could only be put down to the now-alien sugar and was confirmed when I went back for another go a couple of weeks later.

Avoiding sugar, by default, also means avoiding processed foods. Imagine finishing a meal and feeling maybe not full as such but satisfied and definitely not feeling bloated and heavy. You may know what this feels like but shamefully, I never have felt this for any extended period of time. I wish I knew sooner how amazing it feels. How much lighter, more energetic, better I feel.

So, knowing all this, why why why would I be planning to make these chocolate caramel gooey cookies and these chocolate spiders (that I last made during my three months of funemployment) for our family Good Friday meal? Why? Maybe it is the same reason I am planning a big plate of nachos for lunch (despite the fact I don't identify with any particular religion, I can't bring myself to eat meat on Good Friday): the memory of food.

Such a powerful little thing, memory. (How painfully simple is that sentence.) I remember what it used to be like to eat and enjoy certain foods: the taste, the texture, even the social aspect of a shared meal, but I have yet to commit to memory the dull headache and painful stomach that results from eating "bad" foods. I write about the whole nasty experience in my journal, in the hopes that if I ever find myself seduced by the cruel, sugary mistress again, I will instead turn to the pages and be reminded that I will, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, feel like five different kinds of shit if I do give in. But I don't read over the journal entries. I forget. But through repetition comes perfection, so try, try, try again, right?


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

London, 2013

When I was 23, all the way back in 2003, I lived in London for a while. It was a strange time: I wanted so much to enjoy the experience but desperately missed my boyfriend back home in Australia. I had various temp jobs in offices where people approached me with curiosity in the beginning and then steadfastly avoided me, lest they get lumped with having the new girl ask to join their work clique on their lunch break. 

I was on the way to my first day of one of these temp jobs when I phoned the agency, saying I was running late because I couldn't find the stupid bus stop and then the stupid bus didn't stop where it was supposed to and to top it all off, I'd just stood in a puddle - because it bloody never stopped raining in bloody old Blighty - and my feet and shoes and socks and pants were soaked through all the way up to my bloody ankles.

None of it was true, of course. I was just having a shit time of it and hoped that if I sounded like I was about to cry, she would tell me to go home, where I would get back into bed and read comforting chick lit novels, while ramming Double Decker chocolate bars down my gullet. 

She told me, breezily but really quite firmly, that I must continue on my way to the job. They were in great need of help, I must go. She told me she would phone ahead on my behalf and let them know what had happened and that I was on my way, and that I could lock myself in a bathroom and dry my pants under a hand dryer.

I found myself agreeing to her plan and hung up, feeling pretty pissed off. I trudged along the street, somewhere in the outer reaches of North London before I realised that the manager at the job would expect me to have wet feet when I eventually lobbed up. If I turned up late with dry feet, she would know that I had been bullshitting her. I stood on the footpath, paralysed in indecision, until I knew I had to find a puddle to jump in.

At a next corner, I found a big one. It filled the gutter, rising nearly to meet the footpath, and spread out, covering the road. I paused, shook my head and then leapt into the water. When I walked away, I noticed a woman on the other side of the street, watching me.

To this day, I get the giggles when I think of her. It's a story I have told before ('That time I had to jump into a puddle') but I wonder if I have become a story has told people over the last twelve years. I wonder what she thought when she saw a reasonably well-dressed, reasonably sane-looking young woman sigh and then angrily and purposely jump into a puddle before carrying on, as though it was completely normal behaviour.

Monday, March 30, 2015

This. And a bit of that.

Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

I spent a couple of hours on Sunday with my hands in the dirt, re-potting some bulbs that my mother salvaged from my late grandmother's garden. We don't know what they are - tulips? daffodils? freesias? - so it will be a lovely surprise in winter when they (hopefully) start to bloom. Nana is all over this tiny flat of mine, the one I've been in for a year this month, that she never got to see: from the framed picture of her on her honeymoon in the '40s, the crystal she gave me that belonged to her mother, to the sweet pea seedlings I planted in my tiny courtyard a couple of weeks ago. Whenever she came to visit us, she would carry in her cane basket scones hidden underneath a tea towel and a posy of sweet peas from her garden, wrapped in aluminium foil.

It has been two years and I miss her more than ever. 

I woke up before the sun this morning and then fannied about for so long, drinking tea and congratulating myself for having already ironed my clothes, that actually getting ready for work took place in approximately four and a half minutes. But I skipped out the door and off down the street towards work, ears free of the buds normally rammed in, blaring the same few songs on repeat (Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High by the Arctic Monkeys, Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift, or Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones). Instead, I enjoyed the crisp morning air, the blue sky, and the streets feeling oddly deserted (no doubt owing to the beginning of school holidays, great for me because it means I get to jaywalk across the usually busy street at my own leisure).

After reading an article online yesterday (lost amongst the myriad of articles I read yesterday, looking for answers but not knowing the question, otherwise I would link to it), I took its advice and decided even though I don't particularly like my job, I would be the best at it. It isn't hard work, and it isn't stimulating at all, but if I have to do it - and I do, I really do - I may as well earn some praise, have my ego stroked, and go down as the best receptionist / admin assistant they have had. Who cares if the reason is self-serving, as long as the result is the same.

I had a Christ-where-are-my-bloody-glasses? moment today when I completely mistook one workmate for another and had absolutely no idea I had done so until a third workmate pointed it out. Perhaps I should take heed of the reminder flyers I have been getting lately from the optometrist.

The nights are getting darker earlier and getting colder. I had turned the heater on last week for the first time this year and even though I have been wearing flannelette pyjamas to bed, I broke my own rule and switched on the electric blanket too. And slept like a baby.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

24 March 2015

Blogs are dead
I wish I blogged more
My job bores me
I gave up looking for a new job because the constant rejection wore me down
I was going to write that I didn't understand why I didn't get any of the jobs I applied for and I realised it's all due to a bigger reason that is still hazy when I try to look at it
I bite my nails too much
I miss my nails when they were long and beautiful
I wrote a novel
I read a blurb for a recently released novel that shared the exact same plot as my novel
I started writing a new novel
I stopped writing
I don't know why
I saw an Instagram post from someone I follow that made me happy for her
Immediately after feeling happy, I thought Get your shit together, Annelise. Seriously. Get your fucking shit together
I'm wasting: my time
                     my potential
                     my life
Today was the coldest day since October
I bought a domain name but don't know what to do with it
It's a fantastic domain name, it should be used for something amazing
I felt smug that no-one else had beaten me to it
It's both tough and vulnerable
I re-read all the blog posts I reverted to drafts
I liked the first half of the posts
They made me laugh
I sounded sad in the second half
That made me sad
I left them as drafts
Quotes from books generally don't stay with me but a line from one of the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn feels like it was written for me: If life had a theme, you know ...  a philosophy? A motto? Mine would be: There must be some mistake; I was supposed to be bigger than this
I tweeted that quote back in October
Nine-to-five, the suburbs, married-with-two-kids scares the shit out of me
Lucky that's not on the cards, eh
I don't want ordinary
I want extraordinary
I wish I know how to make it extraordinary
I can do more than I am
I can do better than I am.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thirty-fucking-five

I turned 35 last month. I don't have an issue with ageing but honestly, sometimes the thought of being 35 sneaks up and smacks me on the head, leaving me reeling: Holy shit, I'm thirty-fucking-five

I didn't expect my life to be like this at 35. Again and again: I didn't expect life to be like this at 35.

I said to my friends that this is going to be my year. (Actually, I think I said I'm going to make 35 my bitch but that isn't very ladylike. But hey, I've already said shit and fuck, and really, the SS Ladylike sailed a long time ago.) Things feel different. I feel more comfortable in who I am, the most confident I've ever felt. I think that it's due, in part, to age and experience, but also to the best group of friends I could ever have hoped for.

My friend's birthday is the day before mine so we had a girls' night with some friends and I realise that that group of women is pretty much all I need: my best friend who I've known since high school (and whose son started high school this month, holy shit, we are thirty-fucking-five), another I worked with a few years ago, two I worked with at my old job, and another who I met through a mutual friend. There's no mean girls bullshit, no envy or jealousy, no drama. Just support and tonnes of laughter. Those girls, plus a few others, and I'm set.

My signature has changed recently. It used to be an A, followed by my eight-letter surname (which ends in -dell, and if I didn't pay attention, I would usually add an extra L, making it look like I don't know how to spell my own damn name), but now my signature is dominated by a larger, more extravagant A, followed by just a bit of a squiggle to represent my surname. I'm no graphology expert, but I like to think that it's symbolic of becoming more confident in myself. 

There are new possibilities just out of reach. So close, but I have to be patient. My work is done, I have to trust that what is supposed to happen, will happen. In the meantime, I have a renewed interest in the novel I wrote last year (hello, second draft!) and my goal this year is whip it into shape and send it off to agents and publishers - something that a few years ago, was only a pipe dream. Now, with this newly found confidence, is a definite plan.

So, 2015. Not too bad so far. A definite improvement on the second half of 2014. Thirty-five, you're not too bad either. But just to remind myself that just because I'm 35, doesn't mean I have to act like it, next weekend I'm accompanying one of the aforementioned girlfriends to a One Direction concert. Because, yolo.